ISRO’s ‘naughty boy’ dragged big brother MkIII

The 20-year developmental journey of GSLV-MkII was not only traumatic for ISRO, it also dragged its big brother rocket, Mark III, by some five years, conversations with ISRO officials indicate.

The Rs. 2,900-crore Mark III project was cleared in 2002, soon after the first MkII flight with the first Indian cryo stage was conducted in 2001. Preliminary MkIII activities also started and facilities for MkIII were getting set up. But down the line, MkIII entered a lull because of the glitches in achieving CUSP of MkII, ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said.

The early GSLV MkIIs with the new Indian cryo stage failed repeatedly. The common facilities that were also to be used for MkIII got locked up to correct and re-test MkII, Mr. Kiran Kumar and VSSC Director K. Sivan said separately.

But for the attention and priority that CUSP and MkII demanded, “We could have completed the same [MkIII] activity five

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